Today I spent 7 hours laying in my bed. I didn’t get up. I hardly moved. All because of a book, I’m not trying to sound all melodramatic but I’m the type of person who has to sit down and dedicate countless hours straight reading a book. I fall in love with the characters and their story and today was no exception. I read all of Eleanor & Park in one sitting. However this is not a book review (although I absolutely adore this book so if you are interested in a review I would be more than happy to write one). No this is me being totally and completely honest about all the emotions I’ve felt over the last 7 hours.
I thought about writing this and sending it in an excessively long message to a friend but it just didn’t feel right. Would they understand exactly what I meant? Probably not, at this point not even I understand what I mean. I finished the book and stood up for the first time in 7 hours and went to leave my room but I didn’t want to. I wanted to enjoy the space I’d been in for the majority of my day, with the emotions I’ve experienced for a little bit longer, so I pulled out my laptop and started writing.
Lately I’ve been feeling a little lost. Like everyone else’s lives are falling into place around me while each day for me gets a little bit tougher. School is getting harder, friendships are strained and I’m alone. But then I’m not alone which makes it hard, I feel selfish saying I’m alone. I have amazing friends who I could say the simplest “I need you” and they’d be there but it’s as if lately they’re not fully there. Actually I’m not fully there. Its sad seeing the people who you used to turn to for everything and they’d turn to you, turning to someone else. Maybe it wouldn’t be as bad if I had someone else to turn to but at this point I don’t. I say its cool, and for the most part it is. I’m not desperate to have a boyfriend and I don’t want to depend on a guy, but there are just small things that I’ve been feeling like I’m missing out on and the small things build up. Then there’s a whole thing about me wondering whats wrong with me, then blasting some girl power songs and feeling better. Only to repeat this cycle the next week.
I’ve had Eleanor & Park sitting on my bed side table for the majority of this year but I never properly started reading it, I’d read about 13 chapters over the months but most of the time it sat there, like a task that I had to do. But today I started to read it and it wasn’t a chore waiting to be done anymore. I got lost in the love between the two characters and began to feel like maybe through the book I wasn’t missing out on that part of life anymore, I was experiencing what it could be like through a book in a sense. How could someone capture the emotions and make me feel the way the characters feel through words on a page, its crazy and it just goes to show how amazing this book really is. But then I closed the book and I was shut out of these characters lives again. I know you don’t need someone else to make you happy, but there’s a reason there are so many book and movies about falling in love.
About half way through the book I stopped and just lay there for a while. I was thinking and I sent my friend a message saying: “If you can always have someone, how would you know you needed them?”
A a strong element of the book is that these two characters don’t just love each other, they need each other. And they recognise this need as they can’t be together easily. But what if it is easy? What if you can see someone whenever you want with no struggle. Then how would you ever know you needed them? How would they know they needed you?
Will I ever need someone? Will someone ever need me?
Thanks Rainbow Rowell for making me question my life on a Saturday afternoon.
I guess I’ll have to wait and find out. Who knows when it will happen (if it ever does) but as everyone says, love happens when you least expect it.
Rainbow ended the book with a little section on “the three words” which I won’t go into as I don’t want to spoil the book if you haven’t read it, but she said at the end:
“I don’t believe that 17-year-olds get happy endings. They get beginnings.”
I’d ended the book feeling happy and sad all at once, but reading that put everything I’d read and everything happening in my life into perspective. I don’t have a happy ending, no one does at my age, we get a beginning.